Cooking over an open fire can be one of the best parts of a rustic camping trip. But it doesn’t have to be limited to hot dogs and s’mores.
With simple gear like a cake iron, you can dramatically expand your campfire and on-the-go cooking arsenal with delicious sweet and savory treats.
So let’s take a look at some of the best cake iron recipes and how to make them.
What is a cake iron?
A cake iron is a simple cooking utensil designed to be used over an open flame. In a way, it’s similar to a waffle iron with no electrical connection. Two cast-iron panels are connected at a hinge, allowing them to swing open or close tightly.
These plates are attached to a long handle that allows chefs to hold the cake iron over the fire and turn it over when needed.
Why is it called a cake iron?
While real “cakes” don’t come from cake irons as many people think of them, they do share a similar concept. The closed pie iron’s clamping action essentially crimps and partially seals whatever is placed inside.
Think of sandwiches made in a cake iron as “hand pies” or empanadas, and the concept and name should make more sense.
The “iron” portion simply reflects the traditional material they are made from – cast iron. Many are still made today from this tough, durable material.
How do you clean and season a cake iron?
Like all cast iron products, to properly care for your cake irons, you should clean them immediately after use.
Contrary to what many believe, it’s perfectly fine to use soap on a properly seasoned cast iron item, which most are upon purchase. However, many only get clean with warm water and gentle scrubbing.
Then dry the cake iron and lightly coat it with oil or shortening. Finally, heat the cast iron over a grill or in an oven until smoking to complete the re-seasoning process, preserving the pan and its natural non-stick properties.
Spicy Cake Iron Recipes
Some of the best cake iron recipes aren’t for cake at all! These savory treats are as delicious as they are easy to make.
Pie Iron Pizza
Ingredients: Pizza/sponge dough, pizza sauce or sauce of your choice, grated mozzarella/Italian cheese, topping of your choice
Preparation: Who needs delivery pizza when you have this cake iron version? Simply divide the batter between the two halves of the cake iron and top with sauce and cheese.
Add toppings and then close the cake iron. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes until crust is golden brown and inside is hot and melted.